The Last Terrible Forty Years
“Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for the grapes are fully ripe” — Rev. 14:18.
In this particular subject, even more than in others, we are completely indebted to bro. Thomas. We are truly indebted to him for all our knowledge of the Truth, but especially so as to prophecy and the last days. Though he wrote over 100 years ago, his writings are still right to the point, and there is nothing produced since to compare with them.
Current speculations emphasize value of bro. Thomas’ sound teaching
intervening time that has passed since he wrote has served to put
preparation of these notes I have again read much from
Bro. Thomas was successful in understanding and interpreting prophecy because he gave weight to every word of Scripture, and always fitted in the literal as well as the symbolic whenever possible. The results he achieved, which time has so marvelously confirmed, are a complete vindication of his method. No other writings outside of Scripture have the life and warmth and power and depth of bro. Thomas’ exposition.
Vast changes in 100 years, but bro. Thomas wonderfully vindicated
Vast and unforeseen changes have occurred in the earth since bro. Thomas’ day. Two tremendous worldwide conflicts have torn the world’s political maps to shreds, over and over. Most of the great nations of bro. Thomas’ day are no longer major factors on the world scene, but the lineup of nations is more and more as he foresaw from prophecy that it must be: Britain, US, France, Russia, Israel, Arabs, etc., are all falling into line for the last great scene that will climax and end the play.
Some details are not yet worked out, and this adds deep interest and suspense. Some parts of the puzzle do not yet fit into place, but the great sweep of events in the century since bro. Thomas fell asleep is all in the right direction.
Some of bro. Thomas’ applications of prophecy strike us at first as strained and far-fetched, but if we examine the context we shall find that in most places it greatly strengthens bro. Thomas’ exposition, for often, when he points it out, we find the context is inescapably Millennial. And this must be all through the prophets, for Peter declares in Acts 3:21 that God has spoken of these times by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. This is the great common focus of all their prophecy, and no one has brought this out so beautifully as bro. Thomas.
tracing the 6000-year war of the Seed of the Serpent and the Seed of the Woman
right down through the ages to the great culmination in the
Bro. Thomas was the root of the Truth’s latter-day revival
We must never forget that bro. Thomas was, in the providence of God, the root of the current revival of the Truth in the earth. However we may endeavor to twist or obscure it, this is a basic, immovable fact in the development of God’s purpose in the earth.
There is a
great host of separate prophecies on this subject of the events of the last
days. We are nowhere given a complete chronological or consecutive outline—this
has been divinely concealed for the faithful to endeavor in zeal and interest to
work out. From an examination of
who from much study was saturated with the spirit of prophecy, builds the
events of the last days (the setting up of the worldwide Kingdom) on the type
the days of thy coming out of the
“The nations shall see and be confounded at all their might.”
Then the “hour”—the thirty years—of the kings of the earth giving their power to the Beast to make war with the Lamb (Rv. 17:12-14), preceded by the necessity of a reasonable and practical period for the proclamation of the Everlasting Gospel to all nations of earth (Rev. 14:6).
Then the fact that so often in Scripture forty marks a period of trial, transition, testing and judgment.
The necessity of a long time to accomplish the transition
And then the actual fitness and necessity of things. God truly could set up the Kingdom overnight if He chose: consider the vastness of Creation in six days. But He is dealing with men, and adjusts Himself to their limitations, and He has revealed a sequence of events, and purposes to be accomplished, that will require time as far as man is concerned.
The purpose basically is to offer salvation to all, to call for individual submission, to present opportunity, to gradually thresh out the wicked and rebellious while extracting the potential wheat as the human nucleus of the subjects of the Kingdom. This, in dealing on apparently natural principles with the earth’s enslaved and drugged and benighted billions, will take time.
The more we consider the magnitude of the undertaking , the more we are impressed that forty years—a generation—is a suitable and fitting time to accomplish these things, and God’s ways are always suitable and fitting. We come, in fact, to wonder if forty years is enough, and we conclude that only the almighty power of God could accomplish this purpose in forty years, considering the present state of mankind. If it were just destruction, that would take no time, but it is not: it is transition, education, orderly reorganization, complete renovation.
The present corrupt, debauched, benighted population of the earth cannot be just ushered into the Millennium just because they happen to be alive when Christ comes. We know that character and development must be formed in childhood. We know, as prophesied of the last days and as we see before our eyes, that the present population of the earth is increasingly violent, self-willed, rebellious, animalistic and pleasure-seeking.
The present population is mentally, morally and physically unfit for the blessings and peace of the Millennium—too immoral, too high in their own esteem, in the pride and glory of man. Surely forty years is not too long to prepare a population fit for God’s Kingdom.
The complete destruction of all man’s rubbishy, ungodly works
Think of what is involved in pulling down all man’s ugly buildings, demolishing to the ground all his crowded and vice-ridden cities, cleaning off the face of God’s earth all man’s rubbishy edifices and constructions, and building an entirely new, permanent, sound social fabric in harmony with nature and with the mind of God.
Even ignorant man himself is suddenly realizing that he is approaching the dead end of environmental disaster in all the destructively blind “progress” and “civilization” that he has been so obsessed in and so proud of. Think of the pollution problem—can this be taken into the Millennium?
All the works of ignorant and foolish man must be swept away—demolished—scraped to the foundation. The Kingdom in its transitional, millennial form is to be built for cleanliness and health and 1000 years’ duration. How could any of man’s flimsy, rickety, tinker-toy productions have a place in that?—for even now man’s proudest works are so quickly obsolete and superseded.
And the earth is full of idols—human memorials, churches, temples, mosques, synagogs—how could all these polluted things stand in God’s glorious Kingdom of purity and wisdom and holiness? There must be a thorough and drastic cleansing and purging of the earth itself and of the whole human race.
The vine of the earth is fully ripe: great impending judgments
The harvest of the earth is ripe. The angel cried to him that had the sharp sickle (Rev. 14:18)—
“Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe.”
“Her grapes are fully ripe!” This is very significant as to worldly conditions at the return of Christ—
“The iniquity of the Amorites is full.”
There must be a universal destruction (Psa. 46:8)—
“Come, behold the works of the Lord, what desolations He hath made in the earth.”
The context of the whole psalm make it clear that this is in the last days at the setting up of the Kingdom, especially the next two verses—
“He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth.
“He breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder. He burneth the chariot in the fire.
“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Vial poured out in the Air is the last forty years of the kingdom of men—a
judicial period—the most important and most terrible time of all the earth’s
long dark human history. This forty years is
foreshadowed in the reign of David—preparing for Solomon, for the era of peace,
for the building of the
We are told
that at this time
“Fear God, and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment is come” (Rev. 14:6-7).
The conflict and destruction will largely appear natural
The forty-year process of subduing the earth will largely appear to be natural. Truly there will be adequate evidence for those with eyes to see, as there was when Christ was among men the first time, but it will be all done in an apparently natural way to the extent that those who, like the Pharisees, choose not to see, will be able to deceive themselves. Bro. Thomas refers us to Zech. 14:6-7, which he translates (Eur. II:319) as follows—
“Yahweh my Elohim shall come in; all the Saints with Thee.
“And it shall be in that day there shall be no brightness, the splendid ones drawing in.
“And it shall
be one day that shall be made known by Yahweh: not day nor night, but it shall
be in time of evening there shall be brightness (
And bro. Thomas’ comments on this are (Eur. II:319-20)—
“From this we learn that when the Lamb and 144,000 enter upon their work of judgment at eventide, they will not “shine as the brightness of the firmament and as the stars” (Dan. 12:3).
“They will not be manifested as URIM: but, though capable of so doing, they will draw in their brightness, and appear as men.
“But when the judgment is over, and the Kingdom established, and the time is come for them to rest from their labors,then they will no longer draw in their splendor, but “shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father” (Mt. 13:43).
Similarly he says, speaking of the Little Open Scroll (Eur. II:543)—
“The supernatural element is now introduced, which wonderfully quickens and consummates the end. But the infusion of this into the situation does not supersede the free action of the enemy, and the counteraction of him by the symbolic angel upon seemingly ordinary principles.
“The fourth Beast, or Nebuchadnezzar’s Image, which covers the whole area, will contend against them, as if they were a Zinghis or Tamerlane, until defeat and destruction on every side give mankind a practical understanding of the opening of the Seven-Sealed Scroll.”
Wicked mankind, self-deceived, will resist Christ and the Saints
So mankind will
resist and contend against Christ and the Saints under the impression that they
are a natural human power arisen in the
Christendom’s false theory that the prophesied Antichrist is a latter-day Jew
who rises up against the Pope (instead of as it really is—the Pope himself).
The essence of Christendom’s age-old traditions of
“Antichrist” are that: he is a Jew, he arises at the last day, he
2. Man’s scientific developments. For their own destruction, God has so allowed them to increase knowledge and develop such awesome weapons of mass murder that they will easily believe that Christ is merely a human impostor who has developed some new “secret weapons.” We read with increasing frequency today of many fantastic weapons at present in vision or development—deadly laser beams like controlled bolts of lightning, and increasingly dehumanized electronic, computerized, push-button warfare (see Current Events, pg. 187).
The Jews are the natural means used: the “battle-ax” and “war-horse”
The Jews will provide the natural means. This is prophesied in many places (Mic. 5:8; Jer. 51:20-23; Isa. 41:15; Zec. ; 12:6; Num. ; Deut. 33:17, etc.). All will look very natural. During Gentile times, the Jews have always been a strange, feared, separate people, hated by mankind. And they have been disproportionately prominent in scientific and nuclear development in these last days: we have only to consider such names as Einstein, Oppenheimer, Teller, etc. It will look like the Jews are trying to take over the world.
Both horns of
the Beast—Gog and the Papacy—are viciously
anti-Jewish. The Pope has fawned on the Arabs and has never recognized
development of nuclear warfare fits perfectly into the world’s fatal
self-deception about Christ when he comes. We are told that he will cause them
to use their own weapons against each other, as Zech. 14:12-13. Consider these
verses (and the whole context of the chapter) in the light of nuclear war and
the real and terrible example of
When the judgments on the earth are exhausted and have done their work, when the earth is fully purged and the wicked and rebellious destroyed, when the smoke of divine wrath and retribution has at last cleared from the Temple (Rev. 15:8), then the Saints no longer “draw in,” or withhold their glory (Matt. 13:40-43)—
“So shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels (messengers) and they shall gather out of his Kingdom all things that offend and them which do iniquity, and shall cast them into a furnace of fire . . .
“Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear!”
And Daniel gives the same picture (12:1:3)—
“At that time shall Michael (Christ) stand up for the children of thy people, and there shall be a time of trouble such as never was.
“And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever.”
“Who is this
that cometh from
“Yahweh came from Sinai”: Moses & Habakkuk parallel
We now begin the detailed consideration of the subjugation of the world by Christ and the immortalized Saints, as they set out from Sinai as “Yahweh, the Man of War.” Bro. Thomas has written on this in Eureka II:545-554 and III:581 forward. (See the extract from bro. Thomas in this issue, pgs. 197-203. This is from Eureka III). Our attention is called to two parallel passages by Moses and Habakkuk—
“The Lord came
from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them. He
shined forth from
“God came (shall come:JT) from Teman, and the Holy One from Mt Paran . . . Before Him went the pestilence . . . He stood, and measured the earth: He beheld, and drove asunder the nations” (Hab. 3:3-6).
Two things are to be noted: (1) This has never yet happened, and (2) the context, especially in Habakkuk, is clearly millennial. These Mosaic and Habakkuk visions are obviously identical with the Rainbowed Angel of Rev. 10, and the bloodstained One who comes from Edom of Isa. 63. Habakkuk continues—
“I saw the
tents of Cushan in affliction: and the curtains of
Midian and Cushan subdued and blessed first
Bro. Thomas reasons
from this that Midian and Cushan
(the Arabian Desert north and east of Sinai) are among the first to feel the
sword of the King who is now setting out for world conquest, after the type of
David who executed judgments in the southern desert before obtaining the
sovereignty of Judah. The wild people of the
Bro. Thomas believed that the blessing of the land and the removal of the curse would immediately follow Christ’s conquest wherever he went. If we think upon it, we realize that this is how it would have to be—both from the point of view of reasonableness and fittingness, and also to fit the prophecies. We know that the curse must be removed, the earth blessed, and the people taught righteousness—that all must be changed from present worldwide human ugliness and corruption and misuse to worldwide divine wisdom and beauty and goodness.
Worldwide blessing: instantaneous, or gradual?
But have we thought how it will be done? Do we expect it to happen suddenly all over the earth? Or will it be gradual, orderly and progressive, like the opening up of a flower to the fulness of its beauty? Surely the latter.
The kingdom will begin from a small central nucleus, and then grow and grow until it fills the whole world. This is the picture that prophecy gives us, as in the case of the leavening of the bread, or the Little Stone that struck the Image.
We see too that, in fittingness, wherever Christ advances he must transform. To pass through he must conquer, for he recognizes no human authority. He must be supreme wherever he goes. He cannot pass through and leave a land as it was, under the old human dominion. Nor can he devastate without transforming and restoring. This would be wholly out of harmony with his mission of filling the earth with the glory of God.
So we realize, as
soon as we think about it, that the picture bro. Thomas gives us of a gradually
expanding Kingdom, bringing transformation and blessing as it extends, is the
only fitting one. To reach the
Once he has entered an area, he has taken rulership over it as its rightful owner, the heir of the earth. And once he has taken the rulership and responsibility for it, he must abolish human evil and begin his reign of righteousness and justice and blessing. The Old and the New cannot coexist in the same place.
So first the
Southern Desert—Midian and Cushan—is
possessed and glorified: BEFORE Armageddon. Then all the Covenant-Land
this will cause worldwide interest and concern
But, says bro. Thomas, can such a Power begin to be developed in the area, and the rejected from the judgment seat be sent back into the world, and the wilderness and desert be transformed, and the wild Arabians be tamed and enlightened—without being a topic of burning and primary interest throughout the whole world?
It was bro.
Thomas' conviction, from various prophecies, that the Tarshish Power, the
friend and defender of
He wrote long
the passage of time, both
But as Britain has receded from the area, the activity of one of the "young lions" (Eze. 38:13) has grown there, and today both Britain and US have close ties with the basic areas involved—Jordan and Saudi Arabia: sufficiently so that bro. Thomas' expectation of a secret alliance with the New Mideast Kingdom of Christ in the transformed deserts of Arabia are quite reasonable.
reaction of the enemies of
there must be a Tarshish power protecting the land
writing over fifty years before
"Dwelling Safely” without walls, bars, or gates."
He expected that Britain, under the instigation and protection of Christ, would cleanse Jerusalem of all the Greek, Roman and Moslem idols and shrines, and that this would arouse the Beast, False Prophet and Dragon to great fury.
Papacy will cry Antichrist.....look up the rest
To the Papacy, the New Arabian Power will have all the expected characteristics of the long-anticipated Antichrist of their perverted theology, and this will be their rallying cry against him.
It is clear
from both prophecy and the present world picture before our eyes that
"Art thou come to take a spoil?" (Eze. 38:13)
overwhelmed and driven back across the
Christ brings a remnant of
It is at this point that bro. Thomas believes the requirements of various prophecies necessitate the fitting in of a descent into Egypt by Christ, to deliver and bring out the Jews that are there—to bring them, as an earnest of the whole nation, again through the Red Sea and into the Covenant.
Jacob’s last and worst “Time of Trouble”
Today Russia and the Arabs and the Papacy denounce the nation of Israel as usurpers of Arab lands, and it is clear their first step as soon as they were able would be to destroy or deport them, so Zec. 14: 2 and 13: 8 are right in line with the present picture and probabilities.
"time of Jacob's trouble" is clearly the worst and most terrible of
all its bloodstained history—worse than the ,Assyrians, Babylonians, Romans and
Hitler. For years the Arabs, egged on by
"Then shall My fury come up in My face"(Eze. 30:18).
This is the "eyes as a flame of fire" and "countenance as lightning" of the Multitudinous Man, the Rainbowed Angel (Zc.14:3)—
"Then shall Yahweh go forth and fight against those nations,”…with whirlwinds of TEMAN" (Zc. ).
bozrah: the first confrontation of yahweh and the image
From Isa. 63:1-6, it is obvious that Bozrah is a very important, key battle—the first encounter with the Gogian forces. It is at Bozrah that the garments of the Rainbowed Angel, of Yahweh the Man of War, are stained with the blood of Gog.
There is an added
significance to this in the fact that Teman and Bozrah are in
Yahweh, the Man
of War, confronts Gog at Bozrah,
in the northern part of
slaughter of Gog at Bozrah,
the Multitudinous Christ advances toward
The Gogian enemy in the land meanwhile is destroyed and reduced
to 1/6 of his forces by his own mutual self-slaughter and by the pestilence and
judgment of the elements brought on him by God. The sixth retreats into
In the judgment on Gog there is a—
"Great shaking in the midst of the land, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and every wall shall fall to the ground" (Eze. 38:19-20).
—and leave a great east-west valley, as the halves of the mount move to the north and the south (Zec. 14:4). And through this newly formed valley Christ and the Saints come, fulfilling Eze. 43: 2—
"And behold the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east. And His voice was like the noise of many waters. And the earth shined with His glory."
Jesus had said to them as he closed his first ministry among them—
"Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.
"Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say: Blessed be he that cometh in the Name of the Lord" (Matt. -39).
“lift up your heads, o ye gates, for the king of glory!"
Approaching the gates of Jerusalem, now suddenly relieved from the occupying and desolating forces of Gog, they cry (Ps. 24:7-10)—
"Lift up your heads, O ye gates: and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors: and the King of Glory shall come in."
And the enquiry comes from within—
"Who is this 'King of Glory'?"
They know that their destroyer has been destroyed, and that they have been saved at the very last moment of imminent extinction, but they do not know who the Savior is. The strange answer comes— "Yahweh of Hosts, He is the King of Glory. Lift up your heads, ye everlasting doors, and the King of Glory shall come in."
So they realize that here at last is their long-promised and long-awaited Messiah, delivering them when all hope seemed gone, and they cry—
"Hosanna to the Son of David!”
And there is
great rejoicing throughout
But when their glorious King comes into the city, and they present themselves before him, the question is soon asked, doubtless with great fear and foreboding (Zec. 13:6)—
“What are these wounds in thine hands?" (Zc. 13:6).
And the terrible answer—
"Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends. "
joy turned into deep national remorse and mourning
And so, like Joseph, he is made known to his brethren, and they are filled with fear, and joy is turned to national mourning—
"And they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him as one mourneth for his only son.
day shall there be a great mourning in
And so, first
by great oppression and tribulation, and then by great national humiliation and
repentance, is the remnant of
"It shall come to pass that in all the land, saith the Lord, 2 parts therein shall be cut off and die but the third shall be left therein.
'“I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried:
"And they shall call on My Name, and I will hear them. I will say, It is My people; and they shall say, Yahweh is my God.
day there shall be a fountain opened to the inhabitants of
This is very
beautiful and very fitting. It is
the beauty of god’s way:
Surely no imaginable experience could be more traumatic and transforming. Nothing could so thoroughly and deeply shake and purge and humble and enlighten them—break the hardness of their blind self-sufficiency and prepare them for the ministration of redemption and love. Human nature must be crushed and broken and shaken to its foundations before it can begin to learn divine holiness and wisdom.
In the marvelous contrivance of His love and wisdom, God shall—
“Pour upon the inhabitants of
And the New Covenant will be made with the House of Judah—
"Written in their inward parts and in their heart” (Jr. 31:33).
For seven months thereafter (Eze. 39:11-16) they are cleaning up the land from the wreckage of the invader, and burying the multitude of dead he has left behind in his flight.
As elsewhere in
the extension of Christ's power, the curse is lifted and the land beautified,
and the people blessed in wisdom and love and firm, righteous rule. The Little
Stone Power now encompasses all the territory from Sinai to the north limits of
has come to the daughter of
"No Strangers shall pass through her any more" (Joel ).
But she still has the joyful and glorious task before her, under Christ, of establishing herself as the "first dominion" of the world (Mic. 4:8).
''I will send those that escape of them—sounders of the Truth—to
Tarshish, Pul, Lud, Tubal Javan, the Isles afar off . . and
they shall declare My glory among the Gentiles"
Following the destruction of Gog's host, and the deliverance of Jerusalem, and the revelation of Jesus to Israel as the Messiah, and the setting up of his throne in Jerusalem—comes the 7 months it takes to bury Gog's dead and cleanse the land (Eze. 39:9-16).
In the meantime
the remnant of the enemy that remains is pursued back into Assyria ( modern
Iraq), which is judicially laid waste by the sword (Mic.
5:6) Iraq is among the most vicious of Israel's present enemies, and closely
allied with Russia. As the original
The next step
is the completion of the conquering of all the lands promised to Abraham, from
"In that day shall there be a highway out of
"In that day shall
”Whom the Lord of Hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt, My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and lsrael Mine inheritance" (Isa. 19:23-25).
This, in the main, completes the subjugation of the first 3 Beasts—Lion, Bear and Leopard—the Babylonian, Persian and Greek dominions, bringing them under the rule of Christ. These are not destroyed as nations, but completely subjugated (Dan. )
But there still remains the worst and greatest—the Roman Beast—which not only is to be conquered, but utterly destroyed from the earth, his body given to the burning flame (Dan 7:11). Every vestige of Roman Catholic influence is to be completely annihilated from the earth. Today that influence is universal—
"All nations drunk with the wine of her fornication. "
Not only in all the Harlot Daughter Churches of the world, which are today flowing back to Mother Rome, but everywhere we turn, in every department of life, Romanism is stamped on every facet of society and civilization, and unless we are eternally alert and vigilant, we are inevitably and unconsciously contaminated by it in the simplest, commonest and most unsuspected ways.
This is the
great climax and crisis of the whole book of Revelation—the final settlement of
the age-old enmity between
But before the Rainbowed Angel (Christ and the Saints) advances against
the demon-worshipers of
"Cries with a loud voice, as when a lion roars" (Rev. 10:3).
This is the proclamation of the Everlasting Gospel (Rev. 14 :7)—
"Fear God and give glory to Him, for the Hour of His judgment is come
Isa. 66:19 refers to the same event. V. 18 tells us God will—
"Gather the nations, and they shall come, and see His glory. "
This is accomplished in the attack by Gog and his European hosts, and their destruction (Eze. 39:21). Then v. 19 continues—
"I will set a sign among them.”
—the setting up
of the throne at
'“ I will send those that escape of them, to Tarshish, Pul and Lud, that draw the bow (bro. Thomas: 'Sounders of the Truth') . .
''To Tubal and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard My fame;and they shall declare My glory among the Gentiles."
A certain period is involved in carrying this proclamation to all the earth and allowing time for its effect throughout all the benighted millions of the world. This period is referred to in Isa. 18:4. There, in v. 3, is the call to all inhabitants of the world to see when God lifts up an ensign on the mountain, and to listen when He blows the warning trumpet. Then v. 4, which bro.Thomas renders—
"I will be still, yet in My dwelling place I will be without fear—as dry heat impending lightning, as a cloud of dew in heat of harvest."
And then v. 5 goes on with the breaking of a storm—the terrible divine "harvest" of the "sour grapes of the earth." Compare this with Rev. 14:19—the harvest of the "Vine of the Earth" that follows the preaching of the Everlasting Gospel in vs. 6-7.
How long is this period of proclamation, and waiting for it to take effect? We know in the very nature of things it cannot be instantaneous: the proclamation one day, the destruction the next. That is not how God gives fresh invitations and opportunities. There must be some period of time for the message to reach all mankind, for them to hear, and learn what it is all about, and perceive the evidence, and decide. How long a time? We are dealing with the whole world: a world to which divine things are universally foreign.
In the present utterly corrupt, animalized and benighted condition of the earth's population, how long would it take to get the message through in any kind of an understanding way to all the earth's teeming and ignorant millions—most of them either steeped in idolatry and witchcraft, as in Catholicism and pagan Africa, or completely brain-washed and robotized, as in China and Russia, or immersed in lust, greed, immorality and pleasure-seeking, as in the gentle and "enlightened" Anglo-Saxon lands?
The length of time required will be measured by God's mercy in giving opportunity, and by man's present depravity and ignorance in relation to divine things. Both the mercy of God and the ignorance of man are very great.
Bro. Thomas suggested it would be a ten-year period, on the combined evidence and indications of several scriptures. It was 10 days from the great blowing of trumpets that inaugurated the Feast of Tabernacles, to the Day of Atonement itself, which was a great climactic day of affliction and purging and cleansing and beginning again of the whole Jewish year or cycle. And certainly the judgments of God upon the earth are to be a Day of Atonement and purging in every sense.
Ten years for the trumpet-proclamation of the Everlasting Gospel would leave (of the overall forty years) an "hour"—a month of years— 1/12 of 360—30 years—the"Hour of Judgment" for the actual war between the Lamb and the kings of the earth (Rev. 17: 12-14), for we are told (and we know from history and experience) that the arrogant rulership of the earth will not submit peacefully.
Man will not without a terrible struggle give up his power and privilege and fleshly wickedness and wilfulness, to submit to the galling divine demand of humility and purity and holiness.
Christ will demand the total and abject surrender of all wealth and power and privilege, that all positions of rulership and authority may be bestowed on those who are worthy—Christ’s friends—for the just and divine administration of the earth. Clearly the greater the power and the more entrenched the privilege, the fiercer and more tenacious will be the resistance.
Doubtless, as in the days of his first appearance on earth, the "common people" will "hear him gladly," though they too will resent the divine restrictions on their fleshly lusts, and the abolition from the earth of their godless, corrupt, infantile worldly sports and pleasures. They will resent the summons to grow up and put away childish things, and act like mature adults—divinely mature.
It will be the time of which Hannah sang (1 Sm. 2:310)—
''Talk no more so exceeding proudly: let not arrogancy come out of your mouth. For the Lord is a God of Knowledge, and by Him actions are weighed. "
“The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength.
"They that were full have hired out themselves for bread: and they that were hungry ceased.
"The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces: out of heaven shall He thunder upon them. The lord shall judge the ends of the earth, and He shall give strength unto His King, and exalt the horn of His Anointed."
Note the expressions "His King" and "His Anointed." This is the first time the term "King" is applied to Christ, except in Balaam's remarkable prophecy (Nm. 24:7), and the first time "Anointed" (Messiah) is applied to him at all. In fact, the word Messiah does not occur before, except four times (Leviticus) applied to the High Priest.
Mary spoke on a similar occasion with remarkable similarity
"He hath shown strength with His arm: He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.
"He hath filled the hungry with good
things: and the rich He hath sent empty away. He hath helped His servant
When we consider all the circumstances, and what is to be accomplished, and put it into the perspective of the long sweep of all human history which has deeply ingrained a way of thinking into all mankind, we shall realize that ten short years is in no way too long a period for this great final preaching of the Truth to the world before the final war of worldwide destruction and purification.
It could well be divided, by its nature, into sub-periods of three and seven years each—both of which are deeply significant numbers: of resurrection and perfection.
Ten was the
number of commandments proclaimed by the voice of God to
Mainly, the time is required for gradual, worldwide education, so that the world's people can be in a position to decide intelligently. The world is deeply sunk in ignorance of any true spiritual things, and rapidly sinking deeper and deeper. Education must have some basic foundation of understanding to begin with, or it is a terribly slow process.
There will inevitably be a tremendous propaganda campaign by all the entrenched political and ecclesiastical and editorial forces of the world against the claims of Christ and the Saints. These forces control all the facilities of communication and opinion-forming, which God will doubtless permit them to continue to use so all the world will be faced with a choice.
This is a time when all the inhabitants of the earth will be forced to turn their animal minds away from fleshly excitements and amusements and awake to face eternal reality, and—
"Choose ye this day whom ye will serve."
Mankind have always largely "thought" and moved in blind, stumbling masses, like sheep. What the mass does, the individual does unthinkingly, in most things. Most people are frightened to death to be different from their group. Even present protest movements, pretending to be thoughtful and individual, are mostly blind, mass, group movements, following the fads.
Then, too, time
must be given for the confidence of the hierarchy of the wicked to be restored
after Armageddon, that they have a chance to fight Christ successfully, and for
It took several
years for the
And many will
remember, in the same connection, the so-called "phony" war of
propaganda and eerie, misleading, lulling, disarming quiet and inactivity that
preceded Hitler's terrible blitz-krieg, the
"lightning-war" by which he came perilously close to accomplishing
his avowed purpose of "settling the course of
And there must be ample time for the picture to develop in the eyes of the world's peoples, so the right people may be called out on right basis, for right reasons.
''Sing and rejoice, daughter of
midst of thee . . . And many people shall be joined to the
Lord in that day, and shall be My people"—Zc.
This proclamation period comes after the smiting of the Gog Image on its feet, and before grinding it to powder (Dn. -35). It is between the Armageddon overthrow of the sixth Vial and the commencement of the pouring out of the seventh Vial into the Air.
The "Air" is the ruling elements of the earth. It is upon them primarily that the wrath is poured, and it is these that will blindly and stubbornly resist unto the end—like evil, arrogant, power-mad, judicially-hardened Pharaoh, though his servants cried to him—"Knowest thou not yet that Egypt is destroyed?"
The messengers sent throughout the earth have a three-fold message—
1. To declare the power and glory of the Lord (Is. 66:19).
Z. To proclaim the Everlasting Gospel—the Good News of the Kingdom (Rev. 14:6).
3. To demand total submission, on pain of death (Rev. 14:7).
"Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues."
people" are not the Saints. The Saints (the faithful of the present
dispensation) have already been assembled and judged and glorified. These
"people" are those being called to become God's people by believing
the Everlasting Gospel then being preached, and by obeying its call to come
out. We remember Christ said to Paul regarding
I have much people in this city" (Acts ).
They were still at that time in heathen darkness, but they were his people in prospect, for they would come out and take their places as his people by the instrumentality of the preaching of Paul. This is the period of which the Spirit said in Zech. 2 :10-11—
"Sing and rejoice, O daughter of
And many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and shall be My people" (Zec. -11).
In ch. 18, where the judgment and destruction of
The proclamation of the Everlasting Gospel is in ''Midheaven” (Rev. 14:6). This is the political aerial of the world upon which the impending judgments of the seventh Vial—the final, culminating, completing Vial—are to be poured out (Rev. 16:17). Long have the Sin-Powers of the earth—the present "heavens"— ruled the world in wickedness according to the mind of the flesh. Now a door has been "opened in heaven" (Rv. 4:1), and a new heavenly power has burst in on their dominions, and is about to sweep them all out into oblivion—to "cast them out of heaven."
It is "Midheaven
because it has now ceased to be the supreme political heavens, now that Christ
has begun to set up his Kingdom and has been established in
interestingly and instructively draws a parallel between the "Angel in Midheaven" and the incident in 1 Chr.
21 where David sees an angel "standing between the earth and heaven"
with a drawn sword of impending judgment over
The introduction into this picture of Ornan, a Gentile, and his four sons (who hid themselves at this time of judgment) adds to the significance of the parallel. The Gentiles at this epoch of judgment submit and give their wealth to the Lord. (The ones who do not submit—though they appear to be the majority—cease to exist and cease therefore to be of any account in the picture.)
The Gentiles at Christ's coming, like Ornan ("as a king"—2 Sm. 24:23—a strange expression), offer their riches freely, though their gift is not accepted without recompense, for the temporal and spiritual blessings they receive infinitely outweigh the wealth they relinquish to the new and greater David, who in turn dedicates it to God and His Temple.
The four sons of Ornan who hide themselves at this time of judgment are clearly the four-fold Sin-Powers of the world, the four Beasts—
“Every island fled, and the mountains were not found" (Rv.16:20).
''And the kings of the earth, and the rich men, and the mighty men, hid themselves . . and said to the rocks, Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne" (Rev. 6:15-16).
"And they shall go into the holes of the rocks . . for fear of the Lord when He ariseth to shake terribly the earth " (Isa. ).
The nations of the Gentiles are separated into two classes on the basis of their reaction to the proclamation—the Goat-nations and the Sheep-nations. The Goat-nations are all of Europe—all the Catholic nations—all the nations of the ten Horns, Beast, False Prophet and Dragon—including Russia which is historically Orthodox Catholic (like Greece) and which will have been reunited under the papal banner in that day. All these we know are Goats, for they are represented in actual warfare with the Lamb), and are destroyed by him.
The Sheep-nations are those who are allies of the Shepherd of Israel. They are primarily the Tarshish nation—Sin-Powers, truly, like all the rest—but rewarded at this time with lesser punishment and quicker reconciliation because of their historic better treatment of God's people, both natural and spiritual. This will be the Tarshish nations and those few if any who have the wisdom to stand with them.
Bro. Thomas in
his day, viewing the boastful arrogance and wickedness of the
Zech. 6 gives us a similar picture of distinction of treatment between the Goat and Sheep nations, in the vision of the two Mountains of Brass. These two mountains are the two great fleshly powers of the last day—King of the North and King of the South—Gog and Tarshish.
From between them issue forth four chariots. Here is the Bozrah picture of Christ stepping in between them. These are the Chariot of the Cherubim—the Elect of God in judicial war-chariot manifestation for the subduing of the earth, and the leveling of the two great Flesh-Brass Sin-Mountains.
Chariots are drawn by horses of four different colors—red, black, white, and grisled (grey or spotted). The horses are the
It is the different colors of the horses which gives indication of different treatment—different degrees of punishment and destruction—visited upon the different areas to which each goes. To the north (Gog) first go the black horses, and then the white follow them. Here appears to be indicated a double operation, or an operation of double intensity, which is at first all black—complete woe and destruction; then all white—complete victory and purging.
To the South (Tarshish) go the "grisled" horses, an indication of mixed and milder treatment. The red do not go anywhere specifically. They, listed first, appear to be a general type of the warlikeness of the whole operation, in contrast to Christ's first mission on earth. The bay (or "strong," or "swift") horses go through all the earth, after the operations of the black, white and grisled in the North and South.
Again, the same Sheep-Goat distinction appears in Zech. 10, in the very context in which the "goodly horse" symbol appears—
"The idols have spoken vanity, the diviners
have seen a lie. Mine anger was kindled
against the shepherds, and I punished the
goats "For the Lord of hosts hath visited His flock the house of
The False Prophet—the Papacy—is the "Idol Shepherd" (Zec. ), the Shepherd of the Goat-nations, blasphemously claiming to be God on earth, and stirring up the nations against the true Shepherd of the Sheep.
The Sheep and
Goat concept has many degrees of application: the Saints,
Another indication of the separation of the nations into Sheep and Goat powers in relation to Christ appears in the various references to the actions of some nations as voluntarily bringing gifts. One group of nations—the Beast nations—we know unite to fight Christ, and their defeat and destruction is given in terms that appear to eliminate any possibility of rulers bringing gifts of peace—
"And I saw the Beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.
"And the Beast was taken, and with him the False Prophet . . these were both cast alive into a lake of fire. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat on the horse" (Rev. 19:19-21).
This is one picture. Then we have such prophecies as—
of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of
With all the foregoing, the warning and promise of Psa. 2 would also seem to give a strong indication that there is expected, and will be, different degrees of wisdom and submission manifested by the world's rulers—
"Be wise now, therefore, O ye kings . . serve the Lord with fear lest ye perish from the way. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.”
60 seems to carry the same implication that nations as such will react
differently, and will consequently be treated differently. Addressing
"The nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish: yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted'' (v. 12).
This would surely imply that some will submit and some will fight. Just previously, in v. 9, we are told—
“The isles shall wait for Me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from afar.”
"First" here again points to different degrees of order and alacrity in recognizing and submitting to the power of Christ.
by G. V. Growcott